‘Whatever’ Is The Most Annoying Word For The 8th Year In A Row

· Dec. 22, 2016, 7:42 pm

In many ways, 2016 was a year of change — the year of a “change” election, changing demographics and major changes to the SAT.

But this didn’t change: “whatever” is the most annoying word or phrase in casual conversation for the eighth year running, according to a newly released poll of Americans 18 and older by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

“Whatever” irked 38 percent of Americans surveyed — although that was down from the 43 percent who found it loathsome last year. Other irritants:

  • “No offense, but” — 20 percent
  • “Ya know, right?” — 14 percent
  • “I can’t even” — 14 percent
  • “Huge” — 8 percent

Last year, other contenders included “like” (20 percent) and “no worries” (7 percent) and “huge” (3 percent — perhaps this year’s increase has something to do with our president-elect.)

Although “whatever” has long held the dubious distinction of most annoying word, there’s another contender in the wings.

Among those under 30, “I can’t even” was the most irritating phrase. In fact, “whatever” got more annoying with age, according to the polling data. Thirty-three percent of Americans ages 30 to 44 “can’t even” with the word “whatever.” For those 45 to 59, it’s even more irksome, with 48 percent who didn’t like it. And for those 60 and older, it’s 49 percent.

But hey, whatever.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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